Cybersecurity recommendations make progress

A White House blog post today said the ongoing review of the government’s cybersecurity programs would result in an “action plan on identifying and prioritizing further” cybersecurity efforts. The post also said the 60-day review “will build upon existing policies and structures to formulate a new vision for a national public-private partnership.”

The update came from John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism. The blog post said after the review is complete by the end of April, President Barack Obama would be presented with recommendations for “an optimal White House organizational construct to address issues related to U.S. and global information and communications infrastructure and capabilities.”

The question of how the government should approach to cybersecurity and the role the White House and agencies should play has been the subject of debate among security experts. Officials say the purpose of the current review is to develop a “strategic framework” to ensure that the government’s cybersecurity efforts are integrated and coordinated with Congress and the private sector.

The administration announced the review on Feb. 9. The evaluation is being conducted by the president’s homeland security and national security advisers and led by Melissa Hathaway, who has served as senior adviser and cyber coordination executive to the Director of National Intelligence. She has played a leading role in coordinating the government’s Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration plans to appoint a national cyber adviser who would coordinate federal cybersecurity efforts and report directly to the president.

The post said the review would result in an action plan to:

  • Deter, prevent, detect and defend against disruptions and damage to the country’s communications and information infrastructure.
  • Ensure U.S. capabilities to operate in cyberspace.
  • Safeguard U.S. citizens’ privacy rights and civil liberties, as they relate to cyberspace.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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